From vintage overlays and hand drawn patterns to seamless tiles and water color textures, incorporating eye catching elements can give your project a refined look and feel.

Everything from cell phone cases and fabrics to posters and digital wallpaper can be created using seamless patterns. They can be easily "tiled" for website backgrounds or stationary and product design.

Although more complex than patterns, textures often appear more subtle in a finished piece but can add real depth and character. Images of sand, metal, rust, vintage paper and rustic wood all can be used to create interesting textures. Desaturate the files to isolate the texture from the colour or change the colour entirely for a unique look.

Photos and illustrations with elements that are not repeated also make good background images. Think of sweeping landscapes for a travel brochures or an eco-farm website with a bucolic countryside illustration as a backdrop.

Whatever your project needs, replacing a white background with color, textures, patterns and backgrounds provides visual interest as well as personality and feeling.